Minnie Riperton released her third solo album in 1975, Adventures in Paradise. “Inside My Love” written by Riperton, her husband Richard Rudolph, and Leon Ware, was the first single off the LP. Even though some station programmers refused to play the song because they felt it was too risqué, it hit #26 on RnB and top 100 of the Pop charts in 1975. Despite the seemingly suggestive lyrics, “You can see inside me, will you come inside me, do you wanna ride inside my love,” both Minnie and Richard declared the song was about a deeper spiritual relationship with a person and not merely a physical connection. Some critics note Leon Ware’s presence on the song, and associate it with work done on Marvin Gaye’s sexually charged I Want You album, which he was working on around the same time. Ware says he had the song title for years and told Minnie about it after she mentioned her desire to sing something sensual with a classy message. According to Ware, when he was a young child in church, the sermon would almost be over and, “. . .the organ would play real soft . . . the vibe would be completely hypnotic. The pastor would say, ‘Won’t you come inside the Lord,’ and people would stand up – eyes closed and arms outstretched – as if they were being guided to the pulpit.” He maintains that if you always go with your heart, you can’t go wrong with God, spirituality and sexuality.
Singer Chante Moore covered “Inside My Love” for the New York Undercover soundtrack in 1995. Sonically, her cover is arguably the closet to Minnie’s version I’ve heard. Two years later new comer Trina Broussard’s interpretation was on the Love Jones soundtrack. Her cover, much like Aco, BabiDoll, The Decoders (w/ Sy Smith), and many others, hardly departed from the original.
There have been a couple of recordings different enough from the original to catch my ear. Most recently British singer Delilah (Paloma Stoecker) released her 2012 début album From the Roots Up with the most varied version of the song I’ve heard. I love Delilah’s voice, but fearing she’d sound like a forced imitation of Riperton or bore me like a few other covers, I avoided listening to her re-make. I was also scared she would try to sound a little too lustful considering her age, or that she would attempt to make it sound pop or disco. I was pleasantly surprised. She stayed true to her own sound, making the song a little more hippie-like and tribal. I love her use of drums and the echo effects on her vocals. In my opinion, although her take departs from the song original sound, the initial intent and feeling of the song is maintained.
Singer-songwriter Eric Roberson’s 2009 album Music Fan First contained the Brett “Bdubb” Baker produced track “Tale of Two,” which sampled Minnie Riperton’s hit. Until doing research for this post I thought it was a sample from Broussard’s version, but in an interview Roberson says it samples the original. After listening more closely, it does sound more like a slowed track of the original. The song has no hook at all but instead cleverly uses just three bars from “Inside My Love.” It tells the story of college friends turned secret lovers and the roller coaster of events that followed. It’s well written and is one of the reasons that entire album still has a presence in my rotation five years later.
Purchase featured music:
“Inside My Love”– Minnie Riperton
“Inside My Love”– Trina Broussard
“Inside My Love” – Delilah
“A Tale of Two “ – Eric Roberson